Monday, April 27, 2009

How to Still Be Single at 62

from the Borowitz Report

sent by Raph' Abrams (

Report: Still Hard Out Here For A Pimp

Bitches Jumpin' Ship, Talkin' Shit Remain Problems

Three years after the Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar for their song "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp," a new study reveals that it indeed is still hard, if not harder, out here for a pimp.

The study, commissioned by the University of Minnesota's Pimp Research Institute, is the result of interviews with the pimps themselves, who paint a bleak picture of the state of pimping in 2009 America.

"After looking at the pimps' concerns and complaints, we can only come to one reasonable conclusion," writes the University of Minnesota's Davis Logsdon, who supervised the study. "And that is, it's still hard out here for a pimp."

According to the polling data, pimps cite "bitches jumpin' ship" as the number one problem facing pimps today, with "bitches talkin' shit" a close second.

There are also some indications that pimps have not been immune to problems in the broader economy, with large numbers of pimps complaining about increases in housing and fuel costs. When asked, "What expenses make it hard out here for a pimp?", 33% of the pimps surveyed named "Tryin' to get money for the rent" while 31% cited "Cadillacs and gas money spent." As for the future prospects of pimps, the University of Minnesota's Logsdon warns that it may be even harder out here for a pimp in the years to come.

"Based on the data, there is every reason to believe that the key factors making it hard out here for a pimp - in particular, bitches jumpin' ship and bitches talkin' shit - will continue to plague the pimping sector going forward," he said.

'Prequel to Hamlet' Reviewed

Friday, April 24, 2009

Why Up is not as Much as Down

The market has risen 37% from its low on March 6. But the way it works is that if the market falls 50%, it has to gain 100% to get back to its initial value. If it loses 75%, it has to gain 300% to get back.

Having lost 57% of the value it had on June 5, it will have to increase 131% to get back to what it was. So the 37%, while nice, is not enough to get excited about.

The Moon and Venus

[Click on the picture]

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I was down at Costco today. They still insist on forcing their customers to buy huge packages of things. At least I hope so. Because I don't want to even think about what life would be like for someone who actually wanted a 55 gallon drum of Preparation H.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Suburbs of Northern Virginia

[David Kellerman's home]

According to the New York Times, the Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac, David Kellerman,was found hanged in his Northern Virginia home this morning. It is assumed to have been suicide.

Before becoming chief financial officer, Mr. Kellermann had served as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and a volunteer board member of the D.C. Coalition for the Homeless.

Regulators with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice have been interviewing Freddie Mac officials about possible accounting violations and other topics, the company disclosed in March. It is not known if Mr. Kellermann was one of those interviewed.

The company recently disclosed in a public filing that in September it received a federal grand jury subpoena seeking documents concerning the company’s accounting, disclosure and corporate-governance practices. The investigation is being overseen by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Freddie Mac has said it was "cooperating fully in these matters."
One doesn't commit suicide because one has a good honest explanation of where all your employer's money went.

This is more and more starting to look like the 'bad loans' excuse for what happened to the capital of American financial institutions is a lie. More and more it looks like the capital of substantially all the huge financial institutions in the country was simply stolen by the top executives.

What are the chances the Obama Administration will engage in investigations and prosecutions as broad as the colossal thefts that have apparently occurred? None at all.

First, it would be devastating to the economy if it were even intimated how corrupt the financial system has become, and how little chance there is of reforming it. The new administration (how long do they remain 'new'?) is committed to repairing the economy and presumably is reluctant to press the apparently justified investigations and prosecutions because of the effect it would have on markets.

I suspect there is a deeper reason as well. They may be the liberal reformist wing of the managerial class, but they are the same class. They live in the wealthy suburbs of Northern Virginia too. Prosecuting an entire class, even a small elite class, would be class warfare, even if fully-justified. When that class is the ruling class, as the class of business executives surely is, the implications go beyond reform. Replacing the ruling class with a different one is revolution.

And that is not who the Obama Administration are. They are tepid reformers, institutional men. Interestingly, the Feds were closing in on Kellerman not because he stole, but because he stole from a government-regulated institution. Which is to say, the government men are protecting the institution of which they themselves are part.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Philippines and the New China

[MacArthur returning to the Philippines 1945]

From the Times today -
Official Chinese news organizations reported on March 20 that the government intended to bolster its naval presence in the South China Sea by sending six more patrol vessels to the region in the next three to five years. The official reason was to “curb illegal fishing.” But the announcement came after tensions with the Philippines rose in March over the disputed Nansha Islands, which the Filipino government claimed as its territory in a law passed on March 10.

Remember the Philippines demanding and getting the closure of the Clark and Subic Bay naval bases in 1991? You wanted the American imperialists out? Now defend yourselves without us you ungrateful pricks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Cool Moment

[Don Corleone hears about adding Coke Classic to brisket]

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hard Times Without End

The Times (why do I keep reading that rag?) reported that two strong earthquakes leveled a number of villages in Afghanistan. Dozens are known to have been killed as first reports reach the west. Further information will likely contain news of many more deaths. Thousands are believed homeless. Afghan rural houses are frequently unreinforced adobe so casualties from house collapses are expected to be numerous.

In the past generation the two most powerful armies on earth, have done their best to level this hapless country. Then warlords and the Taliban. Now this. It is as though G_d had turned His face away from them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trust but Verify

A picture taken in Red Square during Ronald Reagan's visit to Moscow in 1988. Note the "tourist" with the camera standing behind the boy,. It is none other than noted evil scumbag, current Prime Minister, and former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin. What an amazing coincidence! Grrrr...

The Times Finally Notices

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soap Opera

[abs are big in Mexico]
As the World Turns....

(takes a moment to load)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Siding with Barenboim

[Valkyrie conducting slain hero to Valhalla]
Daniel Barenboim is a world-famous conductor. He is an outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights, a harsh critic of Israeli policies, and has received Palestinian Authority citizenship. In July 2001 he violated the informal ban on performing Wagner in Israel.

Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite and the pagan themes in his operas and other music played a leading role in the cultural imagery of the Third Reich. Holocaust survivors have consistently objected to Wagner being played in Israel. Barenboim, at the request of the Israel Festival which had invited him and the Berlin Staatskappelle orchestra, conducted pieces by Schumann and Stravinsky instead. Then at the end of the program he announced that he was going to conduct Wagner's 'Die Valkyrie' and that those who didn't like it could leave. Many in the audience were not impressed with a German orchestra coming to Israel to play Wagner, nor with Barenboim. Many, including all but one of the fifty Holocaust survivors in the audience, left.

I think that Barenboim has performed a valuable service. He showed by his own example that the connection between one-sided criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, including Nazi sympathies - however much denied, however inexplicit - is real.

In spite of all that, I think Barenboim is a model for youth, particularly Palestinian youth. I urge them to follow his example. He is the conductor of the Berlin Staatskapelle and lives in Berlin. I urge every Palestinian youth to join him there.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I continue to be amazed, impressed, and delighted by my CD collection through the new-old speakers. Since the Beatles broke up in 1970 I have dismissed popular music as trivial and not worth listening to. Now I am finding that some of the few dribs and drabs of popular music that I have acquired over the years are not as stupid as I expected.

I had long assumed that Creedence Clearwater Revival and all such bands were a collection of ignorant musical cliches. I listened to a couple of their best songs through the new speakers and came to a different opinion. While they are indeed ignorant musical cliches, they are pretty good ignorant musical cliches. One can even dance to some of them if no one is watching.

And I am not even that drunk.

Friday, April 03, 2009


[Abraham, Sarah and the angel - Jan Provost 1462-1529]

I just saw 'Ushpizin', an Israeli comedy that leaves me searching for adjectives. 'Sly' is one. 'Intelligent' is another. 'Witty' is a third. 'Charming'. It is the story of a painfully ordinary religious couple living in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem. It has several nutso premises which upon examination turn out to be not so far-fetched. A fair amount of the humor will be lost on non-Jews but it is well worth watching for anybody. It is essentially a modern Sholom Aleichem tale.

If you have a Netflix account and broadband, you can watch it on your computer. If not, you can have them send it to you however inherently preposterous it is to send high tech discs by steam engine powered postal trucks.

The Times and Avigdor Lieberman

[Avigdor Lieberman]
The New York Times today:
"[Israeli Foreign Minister] Mr. Lieberman leads the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, an important partner in the governing coalition and the third largest party in Parliament."
Curiously Saeb Erekat the representative of the Palestinian Authority which continues to insist that only Palestine and not Israel has a right to exist, who is quoted without rebuttal in the Times article, apparently is not an ultranationalist. He is merely "a Palestinian negotiator".

We are told that Mr. Lieberman is "seen by many as a racist". Of course exactly the same could be said of Isabel Kirshner, the Times staff writer who wrote this article, could it not?

And certainly of the Palestinians who insist in both word and violent deed that no Jew may live in their intended state though a million Arabs live in Israel. I do not recall a single instance of any Palestinian figure being called a racist or an ultranationalist in the Times for this unwavering position.

Only at the end of the article do we find out in what Mr. Lieberman's racism and ultranationalism consists.
"Mr. Lieberman said on Wednesday that instead of Annapolis, Israel was committed to the “road map,” a 2003 American-backed performance-based peace plan that made the creation of a Palestinian state contingent on the Palestinians ending all violence and dismantling terrorist networks."
Can't get much more racist and ultranationalist than that.